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Thread: BRZ track experience and impressions

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2013-04-11 19:31:09
BRZ track experience and impressions
Today I took the BRZ to the WOW event at Miller Motorsports Park in Tooele Utah. I have my track impressions and feedback to share to whoever wants to listen.

The event was $35 along with a $10 helmet rental fee. In total, $45 is a steal to race on a world-class track! I started on the East side of the 4.5 mile course. this side of the track is around 2 miles long. No large straights though, as they want to keep the speeds a bit lower for inexperienced drivers. On my first lap of the day I hit a bit of gravel trying to dodge a pushed over cone on turn 16. I had to choose to hit the cone (seen the pics of the front bumpers cracking) or do a little off-road excursion. I chose the gravel pit and got a couple dings on my clear bra on the side of the car and a couple chips in the right rear wheel. Not a bad battle scar if you ask me, as the stockers are my winter wheels anyway. After 2 laps, I wanted to try out the West side.

I'm more familiar with the West side track. It has a few tighter corners, but I felt like you could carry a lot more speed in the corners when you can link them together. This was the first time in the BRZ on this track.

The starting lineup starts at turn 1. Getting ready to unleash the BRZ, I did a pedal dance to disable the nannies. It's on!

I was able to hold through corner 2 at the top of 3rd gear. After a few laps I was able to string corners 2, 3, and 4 together in a very satisfying pace. Top speed before turn 5 was around 98mph in 4th gear. And you have to be ready for turn 5 because it's a sharp double left. This corner was easy to get the car sideways on, but I was surprised at the level of grip and how tight the turn really felt. The ABS would kick occasionally as I pushed it a little bit past the threshold of grip.

Coming on to the last corner, turn 9, holding 3rd gear was the quickest way around. The tires howled here time and again. Go in too hot, get some understeer. But even on my craziest of laps I only hit the bumpers once. This turn is the turn that the spectators see, and it's their easiest way to determine how fast you are in comparison with the other cars. It is also an easy corner to mess up on and find yourself going really slow.

The BRZ has a dual character. On this corner, upon steering input the car would want to push. Trail brake a little bit and she comes around for you, but you scrub some speed. I found the BRZ likes a smooth driving line. Driving at 10/10 just makes you look insane because the rear will want to come out quite a bit. I found that driving at 9/10 was the fastest way around the track; constantly keeping the Primacy's at a hum, without a roar.

After I got the hang of the layout I was able to carry a lot of speed in critical areas of the track. They give each car a chance to get to turn 3 before letting the next car go. Before the end of the night, I was catching an IS300 and a Civic SI sedan by turn 9 at the end of the run! I felt great I was able to keep up with the SI, because I have a huge amount of respect for their capability. But I liked the ego boost I got from catching up. My buddy in the stands said I looked faster than the GTI, Gen Coupe, Civic SI, and several RX8s.

I am no professional driver. I make mistakes that cost some serious time on the course. But I was able to find the limits of the car and get much faster by the end of the day. Heel-toeing in this car is just a joy on the track. I can easily tell that this single practice helped make me a faster driver on the course. I got many compliments on the car, and my driving. This made me feel good because I don't have much track experience at all!

I felt like the car was constantly working with me to get faster, and by the end of the day I was driving at a very respectable pace that I'm proud of, and it put a giant grin on my face!

Overall though, the car did good. The scenery is something that some people criticize. That, and the lack of elevation change, are the only downsides to this track to most people. But I really felt like the scenery was amazing today!

Coming up on my 5th lap, the car broke 4500 miles.

The day was sunny, with just a few high wispy clouds and a cool temperature at around 55*F.

Here, you can see a pic of a white FRS. It was his first track day as well. I showed him the pedal dance, but he seemed to take it easy on the car. The GTI in front of me made me wish this was w2w racing. The BRZ was growling at me to get 'em.

Overall the day was very good. Got about 20 laps in overall and was able to see what the BRZ could do completely stock. Before long though, the car will have suspension, wheels, and a few power adders to hopefully make it a little bit quicker and more confidence-inspiring without taking away from the fun factor. But for now, what a blast!

Thanks for reading!
2013-04-11 21:19:00
Thanks for the summary of your day. I like reading these.
2013-04-12 03:37:18
Nice write-up. I happen to think (judging from the few pictures you posted) that the scenery is incredibly impressive. It reminds me of when I lived out west. Any more shots of the track or the mountains?
2013-04-13 03:44:42
I wish I had more pics. I really wish I would have had a video camera so I could look back at how slow I was lol.
2013-04-22 00:14:35
Added some mud guards today. They look pretty good. Very subtle. Going to get a drop and wheels pretty soon guys!
2013-04-22 02:02:52
Sounds like an awesome day! Congrats.
2013-04-29 06:54:25
Thank you for posting your impressions and for taking that car to the track! I am very jealous and can't wait to read more.
2013-07-06 21:02:16
Had fun with an FRS with a supercharger a couple of events ago & as the day got faster so did he. I ran with him the first track day & the day after he found his groove and was leaving everyone in the dust. Very well balanced car no doubt.
2013-07-06 23:56:35
Been to 3 track events thus far. I am loving the balance of the car, but wish it had a tad less understeer under power. Of course, this wouldn't be much of an issue if the car had a bit more power to begin with. Hard to say at this point whether more power would help or hinder the understeer issue. The only way I'll find out... is by adding moaarrr pooowwweeerrrr!

Also, these tires are only about half worn with 6500 miles on the rear and 3500 miles on the front. The rears have turned a lot more miles, if you know what mean! heh heh.
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